Tesla is using its “Tesla Engage” platform to ask its fanbase to support a new push to convince the New York governor and legislature to allow direct sales of its electric vehicles in the state.
To this day, there are still some states that prevent Tesla and other automakers from selling directly to consumers.
It’s due to old laws put in place to protect franchise dealerships against automakers trying to compete with the people who invested a lot of money into providing a sale and service workforce for them.
It made a lot of sense.
But now those same laws are being used to prevent Tesla and other new automakers who never had franchise dealerships from competing against dealers who sell vehicles from other automakers.
It is being used in an anti-competitive way.
Several states have changed those direct sale laws in order to avoid this misuse that gave a monopoly on car sales to third-party dealers.
New York went with a strange comprise.
In 2014, the state changed its laws to enable Tesla to open five stores in the state.
It didn’t take long for the automaker to outgrow those five stores, but several attempts to expand were shut down over the years.
Now Tesla is trying again, and this time it is enlisting its fanbase to help through “Tesla Engage,” a social platform that launched last year.
In a post about the situation in New York last week, Tesla argues that the state is behind on electric vehicle adoption because of its direct sale restrictions:
“New York State has adopted the strongest climate law in the country, yet it is 23rd in electric vehicle adoption per capita and lags far behind states like California, Colorado, Florida, and Massachusetts that are leading in EV adoption. Florida allows direct sales without restriction and has over 50% more electric vehicle registrations per capita than New York simply because it is easier to buy an electric vehicle there. This has to change.”
The automaker asks people to contact Governor Hochul and NY Leadership and express their support for direct sales of EVs:
“Support direct sales in New York by making your voice heard. Please consider contacting Governor Hochul and NY Leadership today, and encourage them to support direct sales for electric vehicle manufacturers.”
Up until recently, Tesla was alone in this fight, but now that Rivian and Lucid have both managed to bring new electric vehicles to markets as new automakers who never were involved in the dealer model, they are also pushing for better direct sale regulations.